Monday, 4 August 2014

A History Lesson

Way back when, I used to be seventeen.  Seventeenme had a boyfriend and she thought he was amazing. And he was. Until all of a sudden, he wasn't. That swine dumped Seventeenme, which made her very sad. Then she discovered that he had cheated on her, which made her furious, in that overly dramatic way that only really exists for teenagers.

Seventeenme got over it and they ended up being friends, cautiously at first, but then properly to the point where he came to visit Eighteenme in her first year at university and they had a lovely time.

Life happened, as it tends to do and I didn't see him again for the best part of two decades.

We've been Facebook friends for a few years, so I knew that he'd moved to Canada, got married, had kids and so forth. But we hadn't met up at all in that time. So I was really happy to get a message from him asking if I fancied meeting up for a drink while he was visiting the UK.

I walked into the pub, and even though he had his back to me, I knew immediately that it was him. A jolt of recognition, of familiarity. We hugged and started reminiscing about old times. We talked about who we were then and who we are now (him, separated and healing, me tragically spinsterish and relatively comfortable with it).

As we sat there in the warm summer evening sun, I could see that boy,  Seventeenhim, still there inside the man he is today. And in his reflection, I caught glimpses of Seventeenme and remembered the girl I used to be.

Seventeenme was vibrant and passionate. She cared so much that she administered a full arm swing slap across his face when she found out he cheated on her. I've not cared enough to do that before or since. Time has tempered me, perhaps a little too much.

We're not the same people we were all those years ago. Which is probably for the best, as Seventeenme was a bit of a wanker. But there's still enough of her in me that I could almost hear her sigh regretfully as we parted ways at the end of the night without stealing a kiss.

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